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Brooklyn Businesses: Unruly Teens Stealing, Harassing Customers Inside Shops

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Several shop owners in Brooklyn say they're living in fear of out of control teens who are terrorizing them, and they have the video to prove it.

For merchants along the commercial stretch in Bensonhurst, it's the last straw, CBS2's Lou Young reported.

"They come in here just bother the customers and do something, make trouble for us," said shop owner Jenny Qu.

Shop owners said they're seeing a persistent problem with young teens invading Asian-owned shops with mocking comments and sticky fingers.

"They take what they see and just walk out and there's customers standing there and they still do it," said

There are a stunning number of complaints -- shoplifting, vandalism, harassment, and assault -- from mostly Asian shop keepers along a 20 block stretch of Bay Parkway, Young reported.

Nail salon owner Cheng Huayin is still sporting a black eye from a punch he said he took a week ago after encountering three guys who he said were lounging and smoking in his stairwell, shaking down his customers for money.

Just up the block, the owners of an herbal store said they felt like they were under siege when they locked the door as several boys approached.

"When we close the door sometimes they stand outside with a knife, or they stand outside with fruit and just throw it at us," said Karen Ye the owner's daughter. "If not, then sometimes they have WD 40 and they try spraying it on the door trying to get in."

In the video, the fear in the merchants' faces appears to amuse the boys, Young reported.

Some of the incidents happened after school, but others happened in the middle of the day.

"We have to coordinate to make sure these kids are going to school, staying in school and not harassing merchants here," said City Councilman Mark Trayger, (D)-Brooklyn.

"They need more activity instead of fooling around on the street, right?" said business owner Catherine Man.

Merchants are especially worried about the upcoming summer months, when school is out until fall.

A meeting on the incidents is scheduled for Wednesday at the 62nd Precinct.

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